After he had a Deaf son, James Knott set up a popular Instagram account about his son’s day to day life. We interviewed him about having a Deaf son, sign language and social media.
When did you realise your son was deaf?
We had the standard new born baby screening test in the hospital the day Nelson was born, both the tests came back as non-responsive.
At this stage we did not know the severity of his hearing loss, we got referred to the audiologist, three weeks passed and myself and my wife Becky knew that something wasn’t right as he did not respond to our voices or noise in our very busy house. We had our appointment with Dr Frank, it was after this that we knew Nelson had severe hearing loss.
How much knowledge of deafness and deaf culture did you have?
My wife Becky has been learning sign language for the last 4 years and has just completed her BSL level 3, so she has a good base knowledge of the deaf culture and deaf awareness Becky learning sign language is a complete coincidence, we have no history of deafness in either of our family’s.
How much support did you get with his deafness?
Since we found out Nelson is deaf, I can’t really fault the help and support we as a family have had. Finding out the answers that we wanted was not always easy and we sometimes came away from appointments not sure where we stood, but I think now we have a clear vision of the possible routes we can head down.
How did the Instagram account take off?
The Instagram page was something that I didn’t intend to set up, Becky mentioned it and said that it would be good to do.
Then when I was feeding Nelson at some godly hour in the morning I thought why not what’s the worst that can happen, so I set up @daddyknott (give us a follow) posted a picture gave a bit of an outline to the story and fell asleep.
When I woke up I had some comments and lots of likes and followers, I try and do a post each day and I enjoy doing it. Since I have started up a twitter account that I am keen to promote: @daddyknott11.
What kind of responses have you had to being so positive about your son’s deafness?
The response has been brilliant, I have answered some questions for a blog that has had some good feedback and shared widely.
I have been in contact with the NDCS and KDCS and am looking to do some fund raising with them and Gillingham FC where I work. I think we are just keen to spread our story as much as we can.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. 5 tips for travelling with hearing loss!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- Signature: Find out about the Signature conference here.
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children